Holocaust Teacher Resource Center

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Book Reviews

These book reviews are focused at elementary through college students. Others are for the general public. If you have one or more Holocaust book reviews to submit for possible inclusion here, please send them to:

Dr. Mark Nataupsky, President
Holocaust Education Foundation, Inc.
P.O. Box 6153
Newport News, VA 23606-6153
by E-mail at: info@Holocaust-trc.org

whereisGOD_lgWhere is God?
Auschwitz-Birkenau to Dachau 1942 -1945
by Sam Althaus

“Where is God?” Sam Althaus chronicles his eye witness experiences before, during, and after the Holocaust. He asked that question while he was confined to Auschwitz-Birkenau, but he now understands that the atrocities were committed by evil people who were exercising their God-given free will to choose behavior.

We learn about his suffering. We also learn about the rare SS Officer who actually helped the prisoners. Each person’s attitude was crucial for survival. Mr. Althaus states that “The agony was just too much to handle. You couldn’t change the circumstances but you could change how you reacted to the circumstances”. In the words of Mr. Althaus, “It’s amazing that we managed to live”.

Not only did he survive, he also thrived. This writer has had the privilege of eating outstanding food at the Althaus Delicatessen. Mr. Althaus also won victory over the Nazis by getting married and having a family of his own. He was not exterminated; he did his part in assuring the continuation of the Jewish people.

Mark Nataupsky, Ph.D.
Founder and President, Holocaust Education Foundation, Inc.
and this Holocaust Teacher Resource Center

LastAlbum_coverThe Last Album

By Ann Weiss

Ann Weiss visited Auschwitz in 1986. She was taken into a room that contained hundreds of family photographs that were intended for the same destruction as meted to the people in the pictures. “The Last Album” preserves both the images and the stories of the people whose lives are represented in that cache of photographs. “The Last Album” is a tribute to life as it existed in Europe before the Holocaust.

WallHangingsHolocaust Wall Hangings
By Judith Weinshall Liberman

HOLOCAUST WALL HANGINGS is an unusual book. It combines reproductions of unique, multimedia artworks about the Holocaust, with analytical essays about these works written by three noted scholars, each from a different perspective:The Holocaust and Holocaust art; Art history and Jewish art.

to_lifeTo Life: Stories of Courage and Survival
Told by Hampton Roads Holocaust Survivors, Liberators and Rescuers
Published with permission of The United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.

Students tend to remember history when it relates to their own lives. “To Life” is a book of the personal stories of Holocaust survivors, Holocaust rescuers, and Holocaust liberators. Each story reflects the personal memory of a person who lived through the Holocaust. Through these stories, the reader can gain insight into to responses of humans to an inhumane situation.

HitlerJewishSoldHitler’s Jewish Soldiers
The Untold Story of Nazi Racial Laws and Men of Jewish Descent in the German Military
By Bryan Mark Rigg

Did Hitler personally approve of some Jewish men in the German army? That question was researched and then documented by Dr. Bryan Mark Rigg in his book “Hitler’s Jewish Soldiers.” Rigg also is part of the faculty for American Military University and he teaches Holocaust courses online.

ConspriracyA Conspiracy of Indifference
The Raoul Wallenberg Story

A book containing new and controversial material about Raoul Wallenberg, a hero of the Holocaust who saved 100,000 Jews, has just been published. Titled A CONSPIRACY OF INDIFFERENCE: The Raoul Wallenberg Story, by Alan Gersten, the book reveals that for half a century the United States, which had recruited Wallenberg, abandoned the Swedish diplomat.

prjwPersecution and Resistance of Jehovah’s Witnesses During the Nazi-Regime 1938-1945

This book contains a series of essays about the life and fate of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Nazi Germany. The book begins with Henry Friedlander’s “Categories of Concentration Camp Prisoners.” The book’s website includes the detailed table of contents and other information like the Forward, a Time Table, and ordering information. This book is not available for purchase directly from any other Internet web sites.

stoptrains_cvrThe Man Who Stopped the Trains to Auschwitz
George Mantello, El Salvador, and Switzerland’s Finest Hour
By David Kranzler
Syracuse University Press

Click here to order online from Amazon.

This book reveals the previously unknown story of one of the greatest single rescue efforts during the Holocaust — the rescue of more than 140,000 Jews of Budapest.

Winner of the 1998 Egit Prize (Histadrut) for the Best Manuscript on the Holocaust.

holocaust_encycThe Holocaust Encyclopedia
Walter Laqueur, Editor
Judith Taylor Baumenl, Associate Editor

Click here to order online from Amazon.

This important project provides both a reflective overview of the subject and an abundance of detail con-cerning major events, policy decisions, cities, and individuals associated with the Holocaust. Up-to-date and designed for easy use, the Encyclopedia presents thoughtful essays by many leading scholars in the field.

A general understanding of Hitler and Nazism is now taught at the high school level in American schools. But at a distance of five and a half decades, today’s students and tomorrow’s scholars will need a great deal of empathy, imagination, and information as they strive to understand the murder of millions that scarred the course of human affairs. Yale University Press is proud to bring forward this major scholarly undertaking, which will prove an essential tool for years to come for all readers in search of meaningful confrontation with history.

rethinking_coverRethinking the Holocaust
by Yehuda Bauer

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“Yehuda Bauer, one of the world’s premier historians of the Holocaust, here presents an insightful overview and reconsideration of its history and meaning. Drawing on research he and other historians have done in recent years, he offers fresh opinions on such basic issues as how to define and explain the Holocaust; whether it can be compared with other genocides; how the Jews reacted to the murder campaign against them; and what the connection is between the Holocaust and the establishment of Israel.”

div_lives_cvrDivided Lives
The Untold Stories of Jewish-Christian Women in Nazi Germany
by Cynthia Crane Ph.D.

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Cynthia Crane gives us universal stories of hope and survival that transcend time, race, religion, class, and gender. She helps us to feel the experiences of ten women, children of Jewish-Christian marriages, whose families were persecuted under Hitler’s Third Reich . . .

Four video clips may be played to give the viewer added insight into Crane and her book.

contemplateContemplating the Holocaust
by Bernard H. Rosenberg and Chaim Z. Rozwaski

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This book contains a series of essays on a wide variety of topics: from a survivor’s very personal reflections and those of a son of survivors; to the nature of the media’s response during the Shoah (Holocaust); and the quest for the meaning of the tragedy of life. The authors discuss the silence of the world during the war years, the lessons of the Shoah, the people died, the nature of Jewish resistance, and the Jews who survived the Shoah but are lost to the Jewish people.

theologicalTheological and Halakhic Reflections on the Holocaust
Edited by Bernhard H. Rosenberg
Co-edited by Fred Heuman

This collection of articles represents in great measure the theological response of centrist Jewish Orthodoxy a generation after the Holocaust, and represents a rejection of the “God’s judgment theory.” The book contains a wealth of material, some of them classic pieces long unavailable and many written for this volume by distinguished Jewish Orthodox thinkers.

rekindling_flameRekindling the Flame
American Jewish Chaplains and the Survivors of European Jewry, 1944-1948
Alex Grobman
Permission to publish by Alex Grobman

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The author, Dr. Alex Grobman, is the former director of both the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the St. Louis Center for Holocaust Studies. He is president of the Brenn Institute, co-author of Denying History, editor of Defense of the Survivors: The Letters and Documents of Oscar A. Mintzer AJDC Legal Advisor, Germany, 1945-46, and Genocide: Critical Issues of the Holocaust.

Rekindling the Flame is a critical and controversial study that examines not only the adequacy of the response by the US government and military to the Holocaust survivors, but also the American Jewish response. The book is a study of American Jewish chaplains in displaced persons’ camps after WW II. Those chaplains were among the first liberators to meet the Holocaust survivors and to send reports about their findings. As a chronicle of the chaplains’ activities, the book presents new information about a relatively neglected subject.

hidingplacesHiding Places:
A Father and His SonsRetrace Their Family’s Escape from the Holocaust 
by Daniel Asa Rose
Published by Simon & Schuster

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In this luminous and large-hearted odyssey, Rose introduces the Holocaust and its lessons to a new generation and, in the process, heals his childhood wounds in a way that will resonate with all readers, Jew and non-Jew alike, who are interested in their own hidden places.

Nominated for a Pulitzer as “the most major Holocaust book of the year”

by Michael Shermer
and Alex Grobman
Published by University of California Press

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A Selection of the History Book Club

Denying History: Who Says the Holocaust Never Happened and Why Do They Say It? is an in-depth investigation into those who say the Holocaust never happened. The authors discuss issues of free speech and refute the deniers’ points one by one.

lion_cover_newFACING THE LION:
Memoirs of a Young Girl in Nazi Europe
by Simone Arnold Liebster

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Published by Grammaton Press
Facing the Lion is an autobiography by Simone Liebster. This is the first memoir of a Holocaust survivor who is a Jehovah’s Witness. She details her life before the war and the impact of Nazi oppression on her world. This is a story of standing up for your beliefs in the face overwhelming pressure.

How Hitler and Europe Plundered the Jews
and Committed the Greatest Theft in History
by Richard Z. Chesnoff
Published by Doubleday Books

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Several books have already been published about the role of Switzerland, and the Swiss banks in particular, in concealing assets belonging to the six million Jews who were killed in the Holocaust. Richard Chesnoff’s new work PACK OF THIEVES (Doubleday; On-Sale: 11/2/99; $27.50) is different in that it proves that the so-called Nazi gold question is part of a broad and profoundly disturbing conspiracy that extended far beyond the Swiss borders.